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Chapter Profile – APUS SEDS



Overview: The SEDS chapter at American Public University System has the unique setting of an entirely online university, which allows our members to communicate and collaborate from all over the world. With over 100 members strong and only just founded in December 2015, we have participants not only across the U.S. but some in Europe, the middle east and Asia as well. Recently ranked the most active and among the top rated professional organizations at the university, our members participate in bi-weekly meetings over conferencing media to share the latest space news and brainstorm over emerging ideas, as we take our knowledge and passion out into our communities to inform and inspire in space exploration.

Past Accomplishments: It has been our privilege in the past academic year to host an official of the Planetary Society discussing with the chapter about solar sail technology, additionally an expert working in electric propulsion gave a presentation on this field allowing time for detailed questions exploring recent innovations. APUS SEDS has also seen the development of a meteor sighting project, which allows all members to catalog sightings and details of meteors for the purpose of improving the scientific community’s statistics and overall knowledge base of meteor figures such as composition, size, velocity and frequency. With these events and projects we have furthered the SEDS outreach and participation mission goals even though some of our members are separated by thousands of miles, proving that the development of space science draws humanity together.

Future Goals: The future of APUS SEDS looks bright as new goals have been set and are underway with activities to further involve members and develop their research skills as resources are pooled together and cooperative projects flourish.  We are preparing to host guest speakers Story Musgrave who is the USA’s most decorated astronaut, and NASA’s chief historian Roger Lanius, bringing us their insights and perspectives on the work that they have contributed to space science and education.  On March 3rd members in FL will be bringing the stars straight to their community with telescopes open to the public for viewing a host of objects including the Orion Nebula, the moon and Mars, while advocating for the excitement of space and the need to keep our night skies free of light pollution.  This is only the beginning, more awaits the APUS SEDS chapter as we start planning for a cube-sat project, other presenters, and ways to share this year’s total solar eclipse, stay tuned for what may turn out to be our finest year!

Ad Astra!

Jayce Pearson-President
Ryan Robertson-Vice President
Ryan Johnson-Webmaster
Melanie Crowson-Council of Chapters Representative
Matt Getridge-Secretary


Yuri’s Night Award


As announced at SpaceVision 2016 last November, Yuri’s Night has partnered with SEDS USA to offer a $500 award for the best Yuri’s Night party thrown by a SEDS Chapter! This is an awesome and fun way to celebrate space exploration and potentially win some sweet funding for your chapter (to spend on more social events, obviously).

If you don’t know, Yuri’s Night is a giant celebration held on April 12th each year to celebrate Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human ever in space on April 12th, 1961. Incredibly, it also coincides with the inaugural launch of the Space Shuttle on the same day 20 years later! You can read all about Yuri’s Night over on their website, yurisnight.net.

CUSEDS hosts the annual Yuri's Night in Boulder, CO

CUSEDS hosts the annual Yuri’s Night in Boulder, CO

The challenge at hand is to throw the best Yuri’s Night party around based on criteria like the number and variety of attendees, quality of promotion and graphic design, social media attention (#YurisNight), creativity, and more – read the full details of the process here. To participate, register on the website beforehand then email event photos and information to rachel@yurisnight.net by June 30th, 2017. The winning chapter will then be announced at SpaceVision 2017!

Check yurisnight.net or reach out to rachel@yurisnight.net with questions.


Chapter Profile – USNA SEDS

Overview: The United States Naval Academy (USNA) SEDS chapter was founded in Fall 2016 in order to educate the United States’ future Naval and Marine Corps Officers about the opportunities, concepts, possibilities, and developments space has to offer. USNA SEDS consists of approximately 100 members with majors including all STEM fields and Humanities/Social Sciences. We meet to discuss conceptual and philosophical ideas concerning the exploration and development of space, invite guest speakers to expose us to leaders in the highly technical field, and take club trips to space related facilities around the DC-MD-VA area. As we are a new chapter, we frequently encourage our members to join the various technical projects around the Yard including, but not limited to, the USNA Rockets Team, the Autonomous Mobile On-orbit Diagnostic System (AMODS) CubeSat project, and the Unrestricted Satellite Motion Simulator.

USNA SEDS member analyzing hybrid rocket grain design and performance

USNA SEDS member analyzing hybrid rocket grain design and performance

USNA SEDS members checking the progress on their new 3-D printed hybrid rocket grain

USNA SEDS members checking the progress on their new 3-D printed hybrid rocket grain

Past Events: Fall Semester 2016, USNA SEDS invited Mr. Peter Wilhelm, the retired Director of the Naval Center for Space Technology at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, to speak to our members. He gave us a detailed history of the Naval Center and the profound impact that each project had on the world. Following Mr. Wilhelm’s speech, USNA SEDS was given a private tour of the Naval Center for Space Technology’s laboratory spaces and robotics chamber. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the fascinating projects under development and visualize how our undergraduate studies are already equipping us with the tools necessary to make an impact in the innovative space community.

Future Events: For the spring semester, USNA SEDS is organizing a trip to the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and would like for members to attend the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) meetings. We are also inviting multiple guest speakers to come educate our members and spark conversation, inspiring students to research further and learn more beyond our chapter meetings. With each meeting and event, we aim to captivate our members and others with the exciting and unending opportunities in space, fulfilling our chapter’s mission and cultivating future Navy and Marine Corps leaders’ minds with a perspective on space’s vital role in today’s world.

USNA SEDS Officers (from left to right): Gavin Roser, Vice President; K Parriott, Treasurer; Eryn Culton, President; Francisco Figueroa, Secretary

USNA SEDS Officers (from left to right): Gavin Roser, Vice President; K Parriott, Treasurer; Eryn Culton, President; Francisco Figueroa, Secretary

Ad Astra,
MIDN Eryn Culton, Founder and President
MIDN Gavin Roser, Vice President
MIDN K Parriott, Treasurer
MIDN Francisco Figueroa, Secretary